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Discomfort Of Life…

We moved into an apartment yesterday. It’s a sweet little unit. Perfect. Affordable. It will help us to tide out the worst of the wet season that is well and truly building up here in the north.

I didn’t have to dig a hole this morning. There was a flushing toilet ready and available. We went to Woolworths and realised that we could buy so many things that we couldn’t before over the past few months because we now have a fridge. We slept on a bed last night.

Yet we feel the oppression of human noise all around us. It is a small and quiet neighborhood compared to most, but we have been living in the bush for the past few months. There is a chainsaw going off somewhere nearby right now, as it did most of yesterday afternoon. The sounds of human industry is jarring to senses now accustomed to silence.

There are many reasons that led us to moving back into civilisation. All of them valid, and some more important and urgent than others.

It was a good journey, but as the wind whispered to me last week, “All chapters have to end, for the next to begin. Life goes on and on in cycles and you cannot remain in one state for long.”

Change. Always change. And always, I am but a humble and faithful devotee to It.

The walls and roof seem to close in on me. I am claustrophobic now, and feel confined. I know I will not stay here long. Sooner or later, the road will call to me again, and I will leave and travel as I am called to. But not now. Not yet.

Now I am in the transition phase from one chapter to the next. Always uncomfortable. Always uncertain. Yet so important, so essential, if one is to be truly alive.

Life is not for comfort. Comfort is the for the lazy. Comfort is overrated. I have learnt that once that is mastered, almost anything can be weathered. Suffering is no longer to be feared, but treated as a normal facet of life.

Does living true to oneself liberate oneself from suffering? Yes and no. Your every choice is a two-edged sword. It is the spoilt child who thinks that he or she can get everything “good”. For every up, there is a down. For every gain, there is a loss. This is a fact of life.

When you choose to live true to your Heart and Spirit, all that happens is you choose what you want to gain, and what you want to lose. And what you lose will cause suffering. But it will be your choice, and that in itself negates the suffering of suffering.

Suffering is a fact of life, and a state of mind. Both, at the same time.

aside

Your journal is your best friend. There is no other friend who can:

Listen to you as well
Be up all hours, no matter when you need it
Take anything you can dish out, good or bad
Never judge
Never leave

Your perfect mirror, it shows you everything you need to see, hear or know in any moment, provided you are willing to pour out your heart’s deepest, darkest, rawest. Your most fragile. Your highest hopes. Everything.

Write and you shall see yourself, in a way no other human being can give. No teacher, no counsellor, no therapist.

No bias.
Painfully honest.

The journal is to an person who practices self mastery and self awareness as an alms bowl is to a Buddhist monk.

aside

The proof of how strong a relationship is lies with the hard times. The harder the times, the greater the test. No big surprise there.

Hard times test the bond of a relationship for stress fractures. Every little thing that you thought you dismissed, or let go of, every little slight that you thought to ignore, flares back up to life during the toughest times because those were not acts of a genuine bond. They were lesser acts, of fear, of laziness, of lack of integrity.

In a genuine relationship, the hard times bring you stronger together. They make you cherish each other more, appreciate each other more, support each other more. Each strives to pull more weight so that they can support the whole.

You can’t force a genuine relationship. You can’t fake a genuine bond. You can try, but the hard times will shake your fakery to pieces.

How do you know? The blaming will start. Overt or covert. Passive or direct aggression begins. Snapping. Pushing of responsibilities. Disparaging.

Patience naturally wears thin during hard times but in a genuine relationship, both parties understand that fact and both try to give more without needing to be asked. Problems are discussed because there is a greater need for communication. Space is given because it is needed.

Less talk, less chatter, less hounding. Silence prevails, a silence that communicates more and supports more than any words ever could.

All this is done without being taught, without being programmed, without being told.

Because a genuine relationship is in the moment. It is alive. Not scripted. No trained. Not learnt from a book.

And when it happens, you can marvel upon it as a miracle. A co-created miracle. The gratitude blows your being away.

The hard times are still hard. You still suffer from them harshly. Life can still be a bitch.
But with genuine wordless support, you can survive and weather the storm and emerge stronger, happier, freer.

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Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed:
After enlightenment, I continue to be depressed.
— Anthony de Mello, Awareness

Depression is not a disease; it is a sign. Your antivirus program going off. Warning you. Guiding you.

You may have been told that you have a genetic predisposition to depression. So what? Predisposition is just an excuse to say, “I am a victim.”

I used to do that. I have used many things as excuses. Luckily for me, most of them are fleeting. Many of them change after time as I become more aware of my own bullshit.

I wrote these two completely different entries on depression at two completely different times:

There was a cloud that hung over us;
There was no harm.
It was only a cloud.
It would pass,
And so we waited.
And it did.
— 30 October 2014

Depression is like a cloud;
It hangs over a person depressed.
An oppression of the senses;
Like a fog.
Like a disease,
It is contagious.
It reaches out
To oppress others around it.

Yet it is not the fault
Of the depressed.
For it is the responsibility
Of ourselves
To remain aware
And apart
From the cloud.

More important still
To remain compassionate
To the suffering
In the cloud
Of the oppression
Of depression.
— 05 November 2014

aside

A person who changes, transforms, grows and evolves cannot help but contradict themselves over time.

Thoughts change.
Beliefs transform.
Perspectives evolve.
And growth happens.

Contradiction is not only a certainty.
Contradiction is a fact of life.

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Change is uncomfortable.
Change is annoying.
Change is disruptive.
Change is uncontrollable.
Change is unpredictable.
Change is sometimes one step forwards and two steps backwards.
Change is senseless sensibility.
Change is creative destruction.
Change is tiring.
Change is uplifting.
Change is liberating.
Change is unknowable.

Change is life.

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A door, once opened, may be stepped through in either direction.
— Reinette Poisson, Madame de Pompadour, The Girl in the Fireplace, Doctor Who

You are a channel! The channel goes both ways.
— Albray Devere, Gene of Isis

A clairvoyant is an open channel, or vessel. That vessel is filled with the contents of its environs, like an empty cup is filled with the water gushing into it as it is submerged.

It is the responsibility of the clairvoyant {or empath, or sensitive, or intuitive or whatever you choose to call it these days, the names don’t matter}to choose, and control, what fills his or her mind and being.

Overwhelm is a sign of lack of control, lack of training and practice, and most of all, a lack of responsibility and awareness.

No one can teach you this. Every clairvoyant is different and that means that, ultimately, it is your responsibility to understand, and train and hone your abilities yourself. No one else.

It is your responsibility to know what what your limits are and what you require to keep yourself sane and balanced, and a healthy contributor to the universe.

aside

I like kōans. I like that they ‘make no sense’. Most people read kōans and go, “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

Kōans aren’t supposed to ‘make sense’ the way we have been taught. ‘Sense’, the way we have been taught is clockwork. Stiff, no, dead. Unalive. Bah.

Kōans don’t work on logic.
Kōans are tripwires.

Kōans trip you
      into insight.

Into.
   You fall,
      into insight.

Boom!

aside

Sometimes I think ‘inner peace’ and ‘calm’ are the most highly prized of desires. Perhaps even more so today than even just a hundred years ago.

Perhaps prized even more so above money, and something that no amount of money can buy.

For distraction through things isn’t peace.
For desensitization through substances isn’t peace.

What is peace?

I have read that peace is unwavering.
I have read that peace is like, “The eye of a storm.”

Is it?

Not in my experience.

Peace is not analogous to the eye of a storm.
Rather, peace is the sky beyond.

And you watch the storm as it comes.
And goes.

Such is peace.

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Pointless…

What’s the point of writing this blog? I am creating. I am a creator, like you, like all of us. There is no point in creating. No point, as in no external reason or gain. Creation is done, for its own sake.

There is no point to be made, not in the way most blogs are written these days anyway. For there is no point that is static or fixed. I am this way today, I will be that way tomorrow, and who knows of after?

Creation and exploration. I sit here and wonder, “Is there a difference?” We create to explore. We explore and in doing so, create.

I do know there are certain themes that run through my writing. Themes like mysticism, esotericism, gnosticism {I do not confine gnosticism to the realms of Christianity} etc.

I grew up reading encyclopedias. Childcraft, World Book, National Geographic {though I admit to reading just the captions to photographs as a child}. Do you know what were my favorite topics?

Ancient religion. Ancient philosophy. I looked up to characters like Lao Zi, Siddhartha Gautama, Socrates, even though looking back now, I realise I hardly knew anything about them. I read about them, but at that age, I barely understood what I was reading about. All I knew was that these words written by these men resonated deep within me.

I was too young, way too young, to articulate it then, but I was already clear and determined then. I desired to be a mystic. I desired the formless, the wayless. Whatever that was!

Ah, what amusement this provides me now.

How does one desire that which cannot be acquired?

And yet, that was my start to this world, before my head and my heart were muddied and sullied by the ways of the Material. {and yet, am I dualistic? I do not know!}

I never told anyone as a child what I wanted to be, what I hoped to be because there was no social or cultural context for me to learn the words I needed. These things I read of took place hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. It was out of context.

So I placed my desire within modern contexts: I wanted to be an archaeologist! I declared. And just as swiftly, that fledgling dream was shot down in laughter. Who is an archaeologist in Singapore? Scorn and derision heaped upon me. Pick something more practical, they told me.

It wasn’t until years later into my 20s that, during a deep, black pit of depression, I declared full of bitterness and anger, that what I wanted I wasn’t allowed for it wasn’t “practical”. Yet truth was, even then, I couldn’t articulate it.

“So what do you want?” I was pressed, and when I couldn’t answer, I was dismissed as merely flighty, silly and immature.

I personally do not count myself as a ‘philosopher’, {though I know there are times I appear as such} but even ‘philosopher’ did not exist as a career possibility in the cultural milieu of Singapore when I was growing up!

Do you know what is the worst fate?

To know, to the deepest part of your Self, who and what You Are, and yet to be unable to conceive even the faintest articulation for it, even to oneself, because the words have been denied you through cultural and social limitations.

“I know what I want!” I used to huff indignantly, “I just can’t put it into words!”

But I could feel it, oh I could feel it, burning, burning deep within. Like an avalanche, like a volcano, waiting to rip out of me. {oh the agony}

I wonder, how many others suffer this same fate today?

In the years I spent lost, angry and confused, I made a great many mistakes, hurt a great many people. Such is the path of the lost. For one lost in agony cannot help but inflict that agony upon others, for that is all that person has within. As within, so without, I say.

Thus is the horror that is created by a culture or society that does not allow for diversity. For different.

A culture or society that demonises ‘different’, creates demons.

V: What was done to me was monstrous.
Evey Hammond: And they created a monster.
V for Vendetta

True, the responsibility of the ‘monster’ falls upon the ‘monster’ itself. To change its fate, to change its way, to transform its path.

Yet I ask, can we not do better? Can we not accept more? Be more open? Be less afraid of ‘different’?

Or is it pointless to hope? To wonder, even? I don’t know.

To straddle the world of the Material and the world of the Beyond is the task I have assigned myself. To seek to understand the difference without dogma, to See the Truth and Reality without foundation.

I cannot profess a lack of bias. I am so biased! Human, after all, I guess. Happily, gratefully fallible. For fallibility keeps one open to possibility. One can never be immutably right or wrong, for one is always changing.

Our perspectives change.
Our perspectives shape our perceptions.
Our perceptions shape our perspectives yet again.

Humans care so much about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. They think the determination of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to be all that matters.

If ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ do matter, it is only that they provide, with their polarity, a space between them, where we dance during our moments of decision or indecision.

It is within this space that we become Wiser. Not at the points on either end. Oh, no.

For in this space lies the Question.
That Question is, “Why?”

‘Why?’ is the Diamond that cuts.
‘Why?’ presumes no permanence, no absolutism. {is a belief in no absolutism, merely absolutism by another name? hah!}

Once you have that, you care not about ‘points’. For there is no point.

Neo: So we need machines and they need us, is that your point, Councilor?
Councillor Harmann: No. No point. Old men like me don’t bother with making points. There’s no point.
Neo: Is that why there are no young men on the council?
Councillor Harmann: Good point.
The Matrix Reloaded

Heh. I always chuckle at that.

Philosophers ask, “Is there a point to life?” {or perhaps it is only nihilists and anti-foundationalists who ask that?}

Does there have to be a point to life for life to be meaningful?
Does there have to be meaning to life for life to be joyful?

神通並妙用 Miraculous power and marvelous activity–
運水及槃柴 Drawing water and hewing wood!1
P’ang Yün

Can you find delight in the simplest of activities? Like hanging the laundry? Washing the dishes?

And I do not mean you have to exert yourself to find joy.
There is no strain, no concentration in joy!
No work, no effort.

No intent.

Otherwise, you’d have a smile on the outside, sure, but you’d be frowning on the inside. {joy akin to taking a shit. lol}

That is not joy.
Joy is not a discipline.
Joy is not a practice.

Joy is a result, a natural progression.

Joy happens upon you. It startles, like a lighting of a flame within. The smile cannot help but happen. It appears. It stretches your cheeks against against your will.

Trying to be joyful. {pointless, pointless}
I want to be joyful! {pointless, pointless}
I want to be peaceful! Ommm… {pointless, pointless}

1 Zen Poems — sacred-texts.com

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Advantage Out Of Adversity…

Less than 24 hours after my last post, we were confronted by a woman screaming obscenities hysterically at us on our block as we were basking in the early morning sun.

“WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAND YOU HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHT TO BE HERE!1000

Colin very calmly approached her to explain that we are the new tenants of this block but she would have nothing of it, continuing to scream and rant and insisting that our landlord had no idea where the boundaries were and many other things I shall not elaborate.

The man with her carried a machete, though he looked loathe to get involved and hung back.

She gave us two weeks to get off and refused to discuss the matter further.

Needless to say, we were confused and not wanting to create trouble, we packed up that very hour and left.

The landlord was indignant and insisted that the woman had no right to do what she’d done. He made a lot of calls and clarified the whole incident up, which was interestingly enough, born of a blatant lie due to her personal interest in that block of land that we had set up on.

The landlord was very apologetic but instead of just saying, “Sorry,” and leaving us, he offered us another block that he owned, just farther down the road and said that we could stay there for free for a week so that we can get a feel for the land there and decide if we would like to stay there instead.

We accepted.

As we drove back, I listened to my intuition, which has been getting louder and clearer by the day, and it said, “This land shall solve for you all the problems that you had faced at the previous block. It will be easier to build on as there are already existing clearings of better quality, there will be easier access from the road, and there is water for you to drink from.”

I was disappointed, of course, by the change because I had really come to love our former block but I was also chastised by the guidance, which told me to remember that, “You are not the only one creating this reality here. There is Colin also and you must remember that the both of you are creating at the same time. We are fulfilling the desires of all parties involved and this is the way that your desires have been fulfilled.”

It turned out that everything I was told was true.

Everything that I had thought I had lost with the previous block was more than restored in the new block. And then some.

That was two weeks ago.

I entitled this post Advantage Out Of Adversity because as we were driving out of the previous block, in understandably low spirits, I heard in my mind, spoken as clearly as a voice beside my ear, the exact words,

“Every adversity can be transformed into advantage… if you would only look.”

Upon hearing that, I remembered the famous quote by Alexander Graham Bell:

When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

And I resolved to focus my energies towards the Constructive and that was when I received the guidance above.

Poverty, I have discovered, is the greatest freedom, and gift to the true Seekers of Joy, Peace and Fulfillment.

I am in poverty. I declare that with almost heretical candour. Yet I have never been Richer.

I did not seek Poverty on purpose. I did not plan for this. I certainly did not desire it!

But my greater Desire led me here.

I have recently met others who live a life not too different from ours. They too, live out of nothing more than a vehicle and a tent. We sat and spoke.

They apparently embarked on their path as an act of renunciation. They renounced the world of the Material and resolved to live as hippies. To be free.

And yet, as we spoke, it was apparent to the naked eye that they were miserable. They worked odd jobs here and there {for a little money for it is indeed nearly impossible to do without money in this day and age, especially in Australia} but they spent it all on drink and social excesses. They woke up miserable, dreaded their friends on whom they depended for the occasional luxury of roof and bath and wondered why they suffer.

Material renunciation is not the key to freedom. And yet it is. Why? Why would it work for some, and fail for others?

Is it intent? Some would say that, yet I did not seek material renunciation. I happened upon it as a natural progression.

That is key.

There is no path to Freedom. There is no prescribed way. There is not even a recommendation, for if you embark on the path for any other reason than the Purest, which is Will-less, you will fail.

Intent can be your downfall. And in fact, intent is the downfall for those who seek the Truth.

For you cannot find Truth.

Truth finds you.

You need only be ready, and It will appear.

Until then, you will wait. And you will live. And you will suffer. And you will experience. And you will learn.

And it is your place to do so.

There is no shortcut. No magical formula.

For Truth is as Universal as there are as many Beings upon this planet. Universal means not One-Form, but that it is accessible to all, and we are all different manifestation-embodiments of the All-Divine.

Do you understand?

It matters not if you don’t, for you are no lesser for not understanding. You do not need to understand to attain.

Yet, as you can see, it is not your attainment. For how can you attain what you cannot find?

Contradictory as it may sound, you need not even seek, as you think a seeker should, in order to attain. In fact, the more learning you embark, the more words you imbibe, even of sages, the farther you separate yourself from the Truth.

For the Truth can never be articulated, it can only be hinted at. In word plays. In analogies. In allegories.

Those who know not, say much.
Those who Know, cannot speak;
For they are rendered Mute.

For knowledge is not Knowledge,
And Wisdom is not words.

My unknowing wandering into the arms of Poverty cleansed me. I have given the concept of money a great deal of consideration. I wanted to be fair, to consider the possible positives of money.

Unfortunately, there is none bar this: Money is the way for all to realise the unnecessariness and unreality of money.

Money is not necessary to life.
Life is necessary to life.

I have seen men who buy a block of land and immediately fell all life on it and leave that land bare. Why? Because they bought it. It is theirs to do as they please. It doesn’t matter that life once existed there. It is now a commodity.

Commodity is not life.
Commodity is anti-life.

I have seen people of much money who treat others who have less, as less than human. I have seen how the rich have transformed areas of natural beauty, into paved roads, mounds of trash, polluted waterways and decreased wildlife.

Because they can.
Because money confers power, and power means you can do anything.

Make bridges where none existed before {and the water stagnates and the flow fails beneath your wheels}
Build luxurious houses where none stood before {oh how many trees need be cut down for your home?}
Commoditize beautiful beaches and tracts of forest {for beauty is a commodity and earns you much}

We call it progress.

Is that freedom?

For every good that money can buy, there are a million more that create destruction.

Poverty never existed until money existed.

Yet money exists. I acknowledge that. That is all I know, for now.

I have lived with money, all this time, what little I have left. The happier I have become, the less I have spent and the less material comforts I need.

What was once adversity, now becomes advantage.

We live now in a rundown shell of a shack. Most of the walls are gone but the roof does not leak. That is a blessing indeed, for we have shade from the unrelenting sun of noon, and the wind blows fresh and keeps the humidity down. Natural air-conditioning. Perfect temperatures.

Colin just today built us a little platform of rock and brick to stand on when bathing, up off the grass where leeches abound in this wet weather. We still bathe from our 10 liter pail with a pot and a wash cloth, under the open sky, with butterflies fluttering around us. It is amazing how much water you can save with a wash cloth!

Our new block includes a little water pump which feeds a trickle of water to our pail. Oh, what a luxury! And the water is warm from running through the polypipes exposed to the sun. The perfect temperature for washing. Oh, what a delicious comfort!

I have been sick for a week now. Something I ate wasn’t clean enough. Typical for feral living, yet I am grateful, for my body is getting stronger every day. Just two years ago, I would have come down with a full-blown illness. Now, it is just a mild malady.

Mosquito bites used to terrify me, for they would swell into incredible welts that would plague me for days and days. Now, I barely feel them. Even leech and tick bites barely register.

We lacked money for building materials. I Asked, and we were provided materials for free. Our ute couldn’t handle the mud of the former block. Now we have a rocky “driveway”. We needed shelter for our tent will not survive the wet season. We needed running water. We were Given. We even have electricity! {gasp!}

Ask, and it is given, if you ask as a child. If it matters not if it is delivered. If you are grateful for everything.

And then truly, all adversity can be seen for what it truly is.

Your illusion, and
A gift.

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Beauty And Importance…

We woke up today to very sore muscles.

We’ve been living on our 40 acre block of rainforest for the past week and there is so much to do. The wet season approaches.

Our aim is to keep the block as pristine as possible, while working on the few existing cleared patches with permaculture principles. In order to do that, we have to learn the “lay of the land”.

This is something no Google Maps, GPS app, or topography map can tell. It is something learnt by walking the forest daily.

Listening.
Seeing.
Learning.
Remembering.

This is something a lot of modern peoples have forgotten: that land can, and does, speak to you, if you would only listen.

The land speaks not in words, but in sights, sounds and feeling. You learn by treading your feet {preferably not bound up in thick, heavy shoes or boots but in light, simple footwear} over the texture of the ground. Up and down. Rough and soft.

This is something that will take time. Once again, something that most modern peoples are unable {or unwilling} to do. Modern peoples want to rush-rush-rush now-now-now. Answers nownownow. Profit and return nownownow. Quickquickquick.

The blocks surrounding our valley are testimony to that attitude of modern man. Vast swathes of forest cut down and transformed into undulating rows of sugarcane. The destruction of monoculture, raping the earth dry of every last drop of natural nutrients and once that is done, the farmer pours copious amounts of synthetic, man-made, toxic fertilizer.

Why?

Because to do otherwise is slow. To do otherwise is not profit-wise. It is earth-wise. Life-wise. More and more I see that money and life are opposite in function. Or should I say, money can and does create subconscious attitudes that lead to decisions {both small and large scale} that do more to destroy than it does to create.

Money is not real. And it drives 99% of our decisions. What does that tell us?

Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught,
will we realize that we can’t eat money.

— Cree Proverb

There is a huge temperature difference inside our block, and outside driving through the cane fields. On a regular 34°C day, it is cool in the forest and sweltering outside. With large-scale deforestation happening all over the world, particularly in tropical regions1, it’s little wonder we are experiencing rapid climate change.

I’ve begun reading the works of Bill Mollison, the man considered to be the “father of permaculture”, starting with his 1991 book, Introduction to Permaculture. We are still waiting on a copy of the definitive text of his, Permaculture: A Designers Manual from the local library.

Let me share a tiny bit of what made my heart sing reading his work:

Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive for long without a sustainable agricultural base and landuse ethic.

It is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labour; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating elements as a single-product system.

I think harmony with nature is possible only if we abandon the idea of superiority over the natural world. Levi Strauss said that our profound error is that we have always looked upon ourselves as “masters of creation”, in the sense of being above it. We are not superior to other life-forms; all living things are an expression of Life. If we could see hat truth, we would see that everything we do to other life-forms we also do to ourselves. A culture which understands this does not, without absolute necessity, destroy any living thing.

A tree is something of value in itself, even if it has no commercial value for us. That it is alive and functioning is what is important.

There is a time for everything,” and it is true.

In my last post, I said that I never even realised that this was a desire, a dream of mine, until it eventuated.

And yet, as always, hindsight provides delightful illumination.

Of course permaculture! Of course! It is completely in line with all of my personal principles and philosophies, even those I haven’t even articulated yet.

Living with one hand in the earth, both physically and spiritually. Living simply, while figuring out how to balance ancient and modern, how to marry the best of both.

I was sitting there this morning, totally sore and bone-tired, savoring my mug of chocolate-coffee that we made using the last drops of gas from our gas bottle {oh petrochemical companies, how to get away from you?} and the daintiest of dragonflies landed on a leaf beside me. As if it was a friend that decided to stop by and say, “Hi there! How you doing today?” And it was so cute and I was so grateful.

At its grace. Its beauty. The randomness.

“Do you see what I see?” I sometimes wonder, when I see tourists wandering along down just another boardwalk or nature trail, with their cameras and commotion. “This forest is beautiful!” “This river is beautiful!” “This tree is beautiful!” “This dragonfly is beautiful!”

What is beauty?

Beauty is a concept.

Is what you are seeing, a concept?
Is what you are appreciating, a concept?

I.e. the forest, the tree,
The dragonfly, for me?

If it is, are we truly being “constructive” to “reality”?
Are we really here?

Or are we, as I believe, just so consumed by our egotic assumptions of knowledge and self-righteousness? “We are so good,” we praise ourselves as we say out loud, “It is so beautiful!” For it must mean that we are respectful of the forest, of the tree. The dragonfly.

Is it?
Are we?

What is beauty? What is importance?
Is my “beauty” the same as your “beauty”?
Is my “important” the same as your “important”?
Does it matter?
How does this impact how we make political, ecological, social issues that impact everyone?
Does it all matter in the end?

I ask myself this everyday.

What do I see?

We must ask this of ourselves every day.

For conceptions, ideas, limited truths, and spiritual truths have no more reality than have matter or phenomena.

— The Diamond Sutra, Chapter 31

Every other day, we drive into our nearby township of Mossman and there, we are confronted by the realities of the modern way of life. The sugar mill chugs away merrily. Cane trains still haul truckloads of cane to the mill. I still add sugar into my coffee in the morning. We still pay for petrol for our ute. It’s plastic that forms the boxes that store our belongings.

Concept and reality. Ideal and real.

Why oh why must there always be such a disjunct?
Or is the disjunct only in our minds? {it is, I believe, always just in our minds}

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

[…]

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

— T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

1 Bala, G., K Caldeira, M Wickett, TJ Phillips, DB Lobell, C Delire, A Mirin (2007) Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 6550-6555. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0608998104

post

Path Of The Wayless…

I opened my eyes to my second morning in our very own far North Queensland tropical rainforest lot.

A possum decided to check us out last night as we went to bed. We heard it treading and snuffling methodically around the perimeter of our tent and, at some point in the middle of the night, it must have climbed up the nearest tree, sighted our tent down its dick and sprayed our entire fly sheet with possum pee.

Possums have incredible aim.

There once was a possum on my ghost tour route {yes, I was once a ghost tour guide. loved it.} who aimed with incredible precision at specific tourists standing away from the tree in which it lived and doused them full with rank, thick piss. It was like rain, one unfortunate victim claimed.

Anyway. I digress.

The smell of lush wilderness filled my nostrils as I stepped out of our tent and stretched.

Our nearest neighbors are over a hundred meters away to either side of us. At our backs, we have the whole of the Daintree National Park to explore. At our leisure.

There’s no house. No amenities. No running water. No electricity. The “driveway” was so overgrown with grass, weeds and secondary forest that we had to “mow” it down with our bullbar to get through. The ground beneath is so torn up by feral pigs and flood that it feels like a full on 4WD experience every time we drive through.

All we have is the earth beneath our feet and the green canopy above our heads, and we feel rich as kings.

We pitched our tent in a clearing that was already there. We set up a temporary camp kitchen a distance away with our little gas bottle. As the creeks aren’t running in the dry, we hauled water from Mossman and took showers with a pail and pot in hand under the stars.

Basic, rustic, simple living.

It was always a dream of mine.

Only thing is, I never knew I had it.

Until it came true.
Fell in my lap like gold from the sky. {kuh-thunk!}

Unknown, unrealised, even to myself.

What does that say about dreams?
What does that say about what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” for us?
What does that say about what we know about what we want?
What we think we know?
Do we know?
Do we even need to know?

The relationship between knowing and surrender.
Between conscious willing and superconscious creation.

Willing is doing something you know already, something you have been told by somebody else; there is no new imaginative understanding in it. […] People by “will” do remarkable things. But this is for soldiers and money-grubbers who are committed to all sorts of evil that their imagination and love tells them is horrible and senseless.
— Brenda Ueland, If You Want To Write

Now that I am here, I can look back at my life and realise that this yearning, this dream, this wish and desire, had always been there. Silent. Invisible. In the background of the background of the turmoil of my life.

I always thought I was aware.
I always thought I knew what I wanted.
I always thought I was so sure.

I am the proverbial Pilgrim who, seeking Wisdom and Truth, left and went on a Journey around the World, only to return Home and realise that It was always Here.

In my Heart.
In my Spirit.

Not my head. {oh most definitely not!}

Clara sometimes asks me if I dream.
“Of course I dream”, I tell her. “Everybody dreams”.
“But what do you dream about?”, she’ll ask.
“The same thing everybody dreams about”, I tell her. “I dream about where I’m going.”
She always laughs at that. “But you’re not going anywhere, you’re just wandering about.”

That’s not true. Not anymore. I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going.

Home. The long way around.
The Eleventh Doctor, The Day of the Doctor

“Home is where the heart is,” it is said, and I suppose that is true, in so many ways.

Heart. Spirit. Soul. The unknowable.

I would never have found, never been given, never created, this dream if I didn’t give it all up just over three months ago.

Give what up?

What I thought I knew.
What I thought I wanted.
{I crucified Certainty to a random tree on the road and left it hanging there. bleeding. dull vacant eyes staring as I drove off.}

To go on a journey to nowhere {no destination besides north} with nothing. With no more than a ute, a tent and a man I love.

The Wayless Way, where the Sons of God lose themselves and, at the same time, find themselves.
— Meister Eckhart

I find it very apt that I now live in Australia and Australia is where all this has happened to me.

Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path — birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes – and so singing the world into existence. […] By singing the world into existence, [Arkady] said, the Ancestors had been poets in the original sense ‘oipoesis’, meaning ‘creation’.
— Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines

Long roads we drove.

And along these long roads, we sang our dream. Not in melody or in song, the way you listen to music.

We sang our dream by speaking of it, sharing it with one another. Our hopes. Our ideas. Possibilities.
And in singing so, we must have sung it into being. Created it. With our very being.
Resonance.

For in singing, or speaking {ah! the Primordial Word}, the dream, we create it from within. We live the dream within and we create it. By entertaining no other thought but the dream, we create it.

Even if we do not know what the dream is in concrete form. In finished form.

Where is the destination?
Where do we go?
What do we do to “actualise” this dream?

We do not know.
We do not know the concrete steps.
There were none.

This is the path of the Wayless Way.
The absolute surrender to Nothing.

The full cannot receive
So full of themselves, the fools.
The empty are ready
So Fools they are called, by the full.
And Fools they are
Stepping into thin air
Only in the leap from the lion’s head
The Path appears.

Creation begins Within
Within Wordless
Formless.

Word is Creating
Giving Shape
Without shape.

Then comes Creation
Again.
This time without
For the work within
Is done.

Arrival in Reality.
Begin again
The journey
Of Creation.

post

Risk Of The Dream…

A huge opportunity has arisen
For the both of us.

We have been asking for a lot
For some time.

We asked for many things
And we didn’t know how we were going to get them.
We didn’t even know how they would {could!} come together.
Fit together
Like pieces of a giant jigsaw.

But we just let it go
And asked anyway.
A daydream, we called it,
A wet dream.

We never knew if it would ever be fulfilled
All we had were our dreams {tender}
We lived them in our heads
Delightfully
Painfully.

Now the opportunity has arisen
In such form we could not have conceived.
It has all come together {stars colliding}
In such form befitting
Union of wet dream and limited means
Making the impossible possible.

I find myself rejoicing
I am happy.
Yet I find myself fearful
I am unhappy.

Why?

Because dreams can’t come true, can they?
Dreams don’t come true.
Do they?
Do they?
Do they really?
Can they?

It’s funny how you can discover you never believed in anything you said.
Or at least, not in the way you thought.
It’s funny how faith can be tested in the strangest of ways.
Not in the taking, but in the giving.

What do I believe in?
Do I believe that good things happen?
Do I believe that good things can happen to me? And stay?
Can I believe that this is not a trick? This is not a fakery?
Can I?
Dare I?

Because the second greatest gift I’ve ever received has turned into some sort of a test for me.
Do I dare open my heart to trust in the giving of this great, great gift
Of a dream possibly to come true?
Or will I risk throwing it all away by closing my heart and eyes and saying,
No, this is a fake. This can’t be real. This won’t stay. This won’t be.

What I receive is what I create
What I put out is what I create
I can change reality {easily done, it is the choice that is tough}

What do I want now?
I have been given my dream.
It is still in the making, of course.
It is still cooking, still waiting.
But it is here.
It is before me.

Solid.
I have smelt it.
I have walked on its earthen floors.
I have felt the rainforest walls.
Stood under the verdant canopy. The sunlight filtering down.
The steamy air filling my nostrils.
The wompoo pigeon wompooing.
The feral pig wallows glisten thickly with fresh mud.
I am home.

I never knew I never believed
In the way I thought I did
I should {shoulds, what are they? they should be shot, shoulds}
I never knew I never believed
Yet I was given
Tears arise in my eyes
I fall to my knees
Gratitude
Humility

If I fear now, I will push everything away
If I accept, I must submit to the full force of my creation.
I must submit and give myself to It.

Because this represents a huge change
For the both of us.
A huge leap.
I ask myself, “Are you ready for this?”
And I reply, “I don’t know.”
And that’s the way it should be.

My heart sings:

“All you know
Is you gotta go
You can’t let yourself down
By saying no.

All you know
Is you’ll try your best
And that is all
You can ask of yourself.”

I’ve always leapt headlong
Into the risk of the dream.
Done it so many times before
Leaping headlong {fears and all!}
Into the risk of the dream.

North, south, west and east again
And now this, the biggest yet.
Yet it always feels that way
It is always new.

My spirit sings:

“When you ask
And the Universe provides
It expects you to give
In return
Of your all
Your everything.
To grow
To stretch
To change
Transform
In devotion to the Now
You create.

Ask and it is given
But you must be ready.
Take it as you are
And not as you were.

Be free!
Be brave!
Be hesitant but
Leap in the end.
Leap from the lion’s head
And take ahold of your hopes
Your dream.

For as you know.
You never know
Till you go.”